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Archive for the ‘Baking’


Apple Cider-Pumpkin Cupcakes & JUMP Dinner Give-Away 2

Posted on November 01, 2010 by crankycheryl

Two things I might consider before my next batch of cupcakes:

  • Perhaps starting at a reasonable time, and not waiting until after Zumba, after dinner at 8:00, after the 2nd glass of wine had begun (Lincoln Peak Marquette: delightful), to make 4 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
  • Reading both the entire recipe AND the comments before picking a new online recipe in order to evaluate likelihood of success.  A very bad word came out of my mouth when I got to the dry ingredients part and knew that the amount of leavening was implausible, the ph level would be off, and failure was nearly guaranteed.

Alas, when it comes to my poor kitchen I do sometimes begin a new project with more enthusiasm than good sense.  That’s what I get with my multi-tasking, mommified, projects-up-to-here life in the CrankyHouse.

The cupcakes turned out to be incredibly delicious, thanks to a combination of more reliable recipes.

And in spite of all the crazy around here, we know how lucky we are.    And we know that too many families are challenged by the approaching winter and holidays.  One organization helping folks in need by providing emergency services and supplies is the Joint Urban Ministry Project, who’s having its Best Church Supper Ever event in Burlington on Saturday, November 6.  Leave a comment here about how you and your family are gearing up help out neighbors near or far this holiday season and I’ll do a drawing for two adult tickets on Friday 11/5.

Cider-Pumpkin Cupcakes
24 cupcakes

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare muffin tins with liners (you know you can get non-bleached, non-dyed ones now?).

2.  In a saucepan on the stove, boil until reduced to one cup:

  • 2 cups apple cider

Cool to room temperature.

3.  While the cider is boiling and cooling, beat together in a large bowl:

  • 3/4 c. room temperature unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated organic shortening
  • 1 cup sugar

When fluffy and thoroughly combined, beat in:

  • 2 eggs, one at a time
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or squash (canned is fine if that’s what you have)

4.  Place a sifter over a bowl and measure into it:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt

Sift half of flour mix into butter and sugar mixture and combine with a few firm strokes with a wooden spoon.  Add the reduced cider and combine, then sift in the rest of the flour, and stir just until thoroughly combined.

5.  Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Let cool on a rack and serve as-is, or with frosting.

Brown Sugar Marshmallow Frosting
about 2 cups

Whip together until thoroughly combined:

  • 1 1/2 c. Fluff (you could try the rice-marshmallow stuff if you – reasonably – shrink in horror from Fluff)
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c. non-hydrogenated, organic shortening
  • 3 T. molasses

Spread on cupcakes once they’re completely cool.

Halloween-y Witch Broom Decorations

  • 4 slices unsulfured, unsugared, organic mango (yes, in spite of telling you to eat Fluff, I now say you must buy the organic and wholesome dried variety of this), cut with kitchen scissors into wide triangles, then the flat wide edge snipped into “straws.”
  • about 12 thin pretzels, broken in half

Place a piece of pretzel and one piece of mango on each.  Many children will eat them.

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S’more Cupcakes 2

Posted on October 16, 2010 by crankycheryl

I’m never sure what’s going to happen when I offer to donate goodies for charity auctions.  Sometimes they end up uncollected, and sometimes they end up being great big jobs that take days to prepare.  Still, we’ve got so many good causes around here, and it’s fun to be creative in unexpected ways.

I was happy to donate a couple dozen custom cupcakes for our beloved Intervale Center’s recent auction.  The order turned out to be a rush job for an 8-year old’s birthday.  Lucky for me, she knew exactly what she wanted: s’more cupcakes – vanilla cupcake, marshmallow frosting, chocolate, and topped with graham cracker crumbs.  Super easy, and it gave me a chance to work with Fluff, which is very likely my favorite guilty pleasures.

S’more Cupcakes
1 dozen

For cupcakes, follow this recipe, which is as easy and yummy a regulation vanilla cupcake I’ve ever found.

Marshmallow Frosting
Whip together on high speed until fluffy (-er) and well combined:

  • 2 cups Fluff (our health food store also carries a vegan rice fluff-ish thing)
  • 1 cup organic non-hydrogenated type frosting (you can substitute unsalted butter if you prefer, but shortening will give you a firmer set and will hold better if you want to make this a day ahead
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

To decorate:

Frost the cooled cupcakes.  Roll them on a diagonal in finely crushed crumbs from about:

  • 8 graham crackers

Then top with:

  • 1 small piece of chocolate (for my own family I would have used some Lake Champlain Chocolate squares, but I didn’t know if the birthday girl would tolerate deviation from regulation s’more ingredients)

Make ahead note:

  • You can make everything up to a day ahead, but don’t construct more than a few hours before you plan to serve.  Otherwise your crumbs will lose their crisp.
  • The cupcakes can be baked and cooled farther ahead and frozen.
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Pumpkin-Cinnamon Swirl Bread 1

Posted on October 14, 2010 by crankycheryl

We’re blessed with a whole flock of new babies in our lives, and that means baking for the new parents. There’s a simple rule I follow in providing food for new parents of second and third children:

Give them delicious and healthy food their older children will eat without whining.

This way, the parents can feed their firstborn, and snitch a bite or two and receive just enough nutrients to survive another round of round-the-clock babycare.

E.  & Z. & I had a lovely version of this when we popped in at Great Harvest recently.  It’s near where we’ve started martial arts classes, and it takes all the bribery and threats I can muster to get my #1 son there.  I definitely credit Great Harvest’s sugary offerings and riding toy collection with my being able to bamboozle him to the dojo last week.   And the bread was so good that even in my traumatized state I was inspired to go home and make some of our own, which we then gifted to some of the new parents in our lives.  It’s like a cinnamon roll in loaf form, and reasonably healthy-ish as far as these things go.

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Bread adapted from Joy of Cooking
Filling adapted from The Weekend Baker
Makes one loaf

1.  Stir together in a large bowl:

  • 1 c. bread flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 package (2 1/4 t.) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 t. salt

Add and stir very well:

  • 1 c. very warm water
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin, acorn, or butternut squash

2.  Add 1/4 c. at a time, mixing by hand, or a hand-held blender:

  • 3/4 – 1 c. bread flour

Add flour until the dough is moist but not sticky.

3.  Turn your oven to 350 degrees for exactly one minute and then turn it off.

4.  Knead for 10 minutes, either by hand or in some fancy machine with a dough hook, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  But set the timer and don’t cheat your dough, even if it seems nice and elastic before you’ve kneaded for the whole time.  Then coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough in it, turn it over once to coat it, then cover with a damp tea towel.  Let rise in the oven (make sure you’ve turned it off!) for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

5.  While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling.  Beat together in a large bowl with a handheld mixer on medium speed until very thoroughly combined into a thick paste:

  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar*
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar*
  • 1/3 c. unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. (4 T.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 c. applesauce or apple butter

6. Preheat oven to 450.   Grease a standard (6-cup) loaf pan.  Punch down the dough, then stretch it out into an oblong about the width of the loaf pan and about 12″ long.  Leave a 1″ border on one short end, then spread the cinnamon filling to about 2″ from the other end, going to about 1″ from the sides of the dough.  (You can freeze any leftover filling or put it on your oatmeal or mix it into cookies.)

7.  Roll up the dough as tightly as you can, beginning on the short end with the filling that comes closest to the edge.  Tuck and push as you roll to get the neatest loaf possible.  Place in the loaf pan and bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 and bake for 30 more, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove loaf to a rack and let cool completely.  Eat within three days, or freeze for up to two months.

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Best Freaking Apple Pie Ever 4

Posted on September 24, 2010 by crankycheryl

First: if you’re here in northern Vermont too and are after apples, you must go to the UVM Hort Farm.  If you have even an iota of apple love or food geekiness, you will fall in love with the shed and its many, changing varieties of apples and how folks from all walks of life come through for their $1/lb. apples.  And not just any apples, but many that you can’t get in stores, from the organic and IPM orchards in which UVM grows different varieties to test for various traits.

I went a little crazy, which I’m sure you’ll find hard to believe, and found myself leaving with 18 pounds of fruit, with a sample of each posed here.

Starting from the red spotty one and going clockwise, that’s Speckles (NY-75414-1), Arlet, Silken, Gala, Jubilee Fuji, NY-74828,  and in the middle must be CQR 12-t-50.

And then it was sometime around then that we got an invite to an Apple Pie Fest for a friend’s birthday.  A contest, even, with prizes for all who entered.  E. isn’t terribly into cooking these days, but I grabbed him long enough to get his votes: sweet or savory crust?  Double or single crust?  I got out all sorts of aromatic spices and let the boys choose which we’d use, and after a lot of sniffing we settled on cinnamon.  So traditional it was.

We got out the excellent Cooking with Shelburne Farms and gave their recipe a whirl.  It was the best pie I’ve ever made.  Maybe it’s because I was in teaching mode and explaining why this thing is cold and why we pulse in the liquid just so as the crust is coming together and so I was actually following directions.  The directions are a bit long, but just follow them and you too will be in for a fall treat.

Apple Pie
Adapted with permission from Cooking with Shelburne Farms

Makes one 10-inch pie (I doubled and made two, which was perfect for both our weekend parties)

Crust:

1.  Place in the freezer to chill:

  • 1/2 c. milk

2.  In a food processor, pulse together:

  • 3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (we used 2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat pastry)
  • 2 T. white sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt

3.  Cut into small pieces and then work into the flour with six short pulses:

  • 6 T. cold vegetable shortening (we used the non-hydrogenated palm oil kind)

Repeat with:

  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter

Pulse a few additional times, until the mixture is pebbly with small bits of the butter still visible.

4.  Pour:

  • 1/4 c. chilled milk

through the food processor tube, and pulse three or four times.  Add the rest of the milk one tablespoon at a time, with short pulses, just until the dough starts to come together (it won’t do so like bread dough does, and it’s better to under-work your crust than overwork it so err on the side of under-mixing it if you’re unsure).

Get out two plastic bags or two large squares of plastic wrap.  Turn the dough out into a large bowl and gather it together in two equal balls.  Flatten them slightly into round disks, place in bags or wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450.

The Filling

5.  Peel, core and slice:

  • 3 lbs. (6 – 8 large) apples

Given our Hort Farm adventure, we used a mix of Arlet, Speckles and Galas.  Pie apples are a matter of much debate, with very strong preferences given for particular varieties.  Use what you like.

Toss them with:

  • 3/4 – 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. unbleached flour (add 2 T. and then see if you seem to have extra-juicy fruit and add the additional T. if necessary)
  • 1/4 t. salt

6.  Unwrap one chilled ball of dough and place it on a large, lightly floured surface.  With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the ball from the center out until the dough is in a circle about 1/3″ thick and about 13″ in diameter.  If there are cracks and tears as you roll, go ahead and patch and pinch together to repair.

Use a thin metal spatula to nudge the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it to the pan, patching it as necessary.  Fill it with the apples, mounding them in the center.  Top with:

  • 2 T. slices of butter

6.  Roll out the second ball of dough in the same way as the first.  If you like, you can create a vent in the crust by using your favorite cookie cutter to remove a small shape from the center.  Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water, and then lay the top crust on top the same way the bottom one was moved.  Leave a 1/4″ overhang all around, trim the excess with a sharp knife as necessary and crimp the edges.

7.  Brush the top lightly with milk, cut vents if you decided not to remove the cookie shape in step 6, and sprinkle all over with sugar.  Set on a rack in the lower third of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

8.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 and move the pie to the lowest setting in the oven.  If the edge of the crust is browning too fast, use a long thin piece of foil to protect only the edge.  Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the top crust is golden-brown and the apples are soft when pierced.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Then you can bring it to a party, where it can join a stellar line-up of pies, and maybe it too will win the “Tastiest Pie” medal.

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Maple Cornbread 4

Posted on September 17, 2010 by crankycheryl

I grew up with my mother’s copy of the Vegetarian Epicure, a classic source for soups and breads and vegetarian food from back in the days when no one was scared to cook with a boatload of cheese and butter.

In a pinch the other day, I turned to the newer edition for a cornbread recipe and now have my new favorite.  Moist, very slightly sweet, just the right density, and lovely for your fall go-with-soup needs.  We had it with an impromptu squash soup as a first round, when E. ate no soup, but did help himself to 6 pieces of this, warm and buttered.  It was hard to argue.

Maple-Kissed Buttermilk Cornbread
Adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure
8 servings

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 12 x 15 baking dish and set aside.

Sift together:

  • 1 cup unbleached white, or white whole-wheat, flour
  • 1 1/2 c. cornmeal (if you’re in Vermont, maybe give Nitty Gritty a whirl)
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt

In a separate bowl whisk together:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. melted butter or olive oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until the lumps are gone.    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool for a few minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

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Peace of Cake 3

Posted on September 13, 2010 by crankycheryl

Because it’s Rosh Hashanah and who couldn’t use a sweet NewYear?

And because it’s Eid and too many people in Burlington are outraged that the schools were closed for one of Islam’s most important family celebrations.

Because the peaches on the tree 10 feet from my deck are ripe and outrageous and demand to be eaten.

Because it’s the start of northern Vermont’s Eat Local Week, and this cake is pure Vermont.

Because my great-aunt Trilby died, at 89, in her sleep.  She was beautiful like it hurt your stomach to look at pictures of her on the boardwalk at Atlantic City in the 40’s, right after she married my great-uncle Harry.  She was the one who at last shamed me into learning to drive in my mid-20’s with the exhortation, “GAWD FORBID SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR MOTHAH AND YOU SHOULD HAVE TO DRIVE HER TO THE HOSPITAL,” during a visit to her home in Fort Lauderdale.  She’s the last of my grandmother’s generation, and my family’s place in the world  is smaller without her.

Here’s my honey cake, in celebration and remembrance.  And in hopes that we may all be granted peace, and mercy, and more time with those we love in the coming year.    It’s a mashup of Vermont localvorism, of the honey cake tradition, and it’s flavored with mahlab, an Arabic spice made from the ground pits of sour cherries.  The cake keeps getting better every day, so it’s a nice one to have around to nibble on.  And hopefully a nice sign of the days ahead.  L’shanah tovah.

Honey Peach Cake
Adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America
Yield: One bundt cake plus 8 muffins

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Prepare pans by greasing and flouring one bundt pan and either one loaf pan or approx. 8 muffins.

3.  Sift together into a medium bowl:

  • 2 1/2 c. sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 t. freshly crushed mahlab

4.  Separate:

  • 3 large eggs

5.  Beat together in a large bowl until very well combined:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • egg yolks
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • grated rind from one (0rganic) lemon
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. warm black coffee

6.  Chop into 1″ pieces:

  • 2 ripe, sweet peaches

7.  Beat until fluffy and nearly stiff:

  • reserved egg whites.

8.  Combine parts:

  • Add flour mix in three parts, beating just until thoroughly combined with as few strokes as possible.  Fold in egg whites, then stir in peaches.

9.  Bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 1 hour for the cake, and 30 minutes for muffins.  Let cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes, then cool completely on a rack.

Will last 4 or 5 days if it can, but it’s awfully nice for sharing.

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Peach, Maple & Clothbound Cheddar in Phyllo 2

Posted on September 08, 2010 by crankycheryl

Poor crankyGreg.  Last week he looked at me plaintively across the kitchen as I was preparing to blanch/can/freeze/pickle something or other and asked, “Can’t we just eat it?  Like just enjoy it now?”

Oh dear.  He’s right.  I’ve been far too focused on food preservation and too often forgetting to just enjoy the harvest, the end of the warm weather, the flood of funny things E. & Z. emit every day.  (E., on Monday:  “Mommy, I know what I want to be when I grow up.  Now I just need a herd of really fierce goats.” Z., on Tuesday:  “This is a picture of me with Josie from Josie and the Pussycats.  But I still don’t know whether to marry her or Daphne from Scooby Doo or (our 16-year old neighbor) Marlena!”)

Then yesterday E. came into the kitchen carrying one of those wiggly wooden toy snakes as I was working on dinner for a growing number of neighbors.  “Mommy, I want you to make Snake Cake,”  he told me, flopping the snake on the counter.  Chopping furiously, I asked him what should go in it.  “You know, cake dough, flour, milk.  And the snake.”  Sure.  I told him I’d fit it in if I could, and when dessert was served, that’s what he told his friend she was eating.

In reality, it was a lovely and sophisticated (i.e. “not too sweet)  little harvest confection:  sliced just-off-the-tree peaches, caramelized with butter, maple syrup and ground cherries, topped with just a bit of crumbled clothbound cheddar, all between layers of crispy phyllo.  Quick, as easy as phyllo gets, and I didn’t freeze or otherwise preserve one bit of it.

Peach, Maple & Clothbound Cheddar in Phyllo
20 small servings

Before you start, make sure your phyllo has been defrosted and brought to room temperature.  Have at hand a barely damp tea towel for keeping the wrapped sheets covered while you work.

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Melt in a large saucepan:

  • 2 T. unsalted butter

3.  When butter is melted and starting to bubble lightly add:

  • 3 chopped fresh peaches
  • (I had 1/2 cup of ground cherries around, which I added after husking and washing, but they’re optional)
  • 3 T. maple syrup

Let cook until fruit releases juices, but still holds its shape.  Remove from heat.

4.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Lay one sheet of phyllo in the bottom, then spray thoroughly.  Repeat four times.  Spread peach filling on top, then crumble over it:

  • 1/2 c. finely crumbled clothbound or other aged cheddar

Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, spray, and repeat four more times.  Spray top of the phyllo generously, then score into serving pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to take a very sharp knife and cut lengthwise into thirds, then diagonally across in six cuts.

5.  Place in oven and cook until top layers are browned, and filling is visibly bubbling.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove individual portions from pan.

To re-freeze any remaining phyllo, wrap in double layers of plastic wrap and return to box, then place in freezer.

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Maple-Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies 4

Posted on September 06, 2010 by crankycheryl

I have a predilection for inappropriate competitiveness that dovetails beautifully with culinary contests.  And when our fair’s Whoopie Pie competition ended up on a day I knew I’d have free, there was little chance of me missing it.

I’d been there earlier in the week, and had scoped out the scene of the King Arthur Flour-sponsored contests.  I hit the computer for a whoopie pie research and recipe.  I liked the concept, suggested by some, that the whoopie pie was sort of a working class macaron, a lovely little confection that’s always seemed entirely too fussy for me to consider making.

Knowing that my talents lie more in the region of presentation and flavor than technical baking, I decided that interesting flavors were the way to go.  I love the combo of maple and peanut butter, and thought I’d give it a whirl.

Given that KAF was the sponsor, I based my recipe on theirs.  My first try, using butter for the fat, was a failure in that the cookies ran together into flat pancakes.

Luckily, I had time for a second try, when I used organic unhydrogenated shortening to much better, more cookie-shaped, results.

I got to the fair to discover that I was the 10th of 12 contestants to enter the competition.   All I could see of the competitors’ was chocolate, and there’s no way to judge a whoopie pie from its appearance, so I sat down to wait and watch the judges with other Ladies Who Enter Fair Contests.  Together we tried to determine what the panel’s body language meant, and was it bad or good if your plate’s tag was in a particular position and other such arcane things.

Soon enough the agony was over and I didn’t win a ribbon.  When I tried the winners’ entries, I had to agree: a great whoopie pie is cakey and fairly thick; my cookies had great flavor, but were distinctly cookie-ish.   So it’s back to research to find a soft and cakey non-chocolate whoopie pie recipe, which doesn’t sound like too bad a winter’s hobby.  And in the meantime, here’s a really delicious maple-peanut butter cookie recipe for your fall enjoyment.

Maple-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
About 9 sandwiches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

1.  Whisk together:

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2.  In a separate bowl, whip until very light:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or natural shortening, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

When very fluffy and well combined, add in:

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla

3.  Add dry mixture to wet in three parts, and stir just until combined.

4.  Drop batter by the 1/4 cup onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake.

5.  Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

6.  While cookies are cooling, whip together until combined and fluffy:

  • 1/4 cup shortening or butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 T. smooth peanut butter

Pipe or spread onto one cookie and top with another and serve.

(And those too-flat cookies from the first batch?  I layered them with sliced local plums and mascarpone cheese and brought it to a friends for dinner after weighting it down and letting it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Good – like some kind of simple trifle or riff on tiramisu.  I would have doused it with sherry or port but thought I’d leave off the alcohol as if my kids would eat it anyway.  Right.)

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Birthdays & Cupcakes In Spite of It All 1

Posted on July 06, 2010 by crankycheryl

This video this is supposed to be funny, like stupid ha-ha.

But maybe because it’s late, or maybe because a birthday makes a mom notice how fast time passes, I think it’s right on.

Friends, readers, loved ones, thank you for being here – whether it’s your birthday or not.  And it’s cool if you didn’t get a promotion or a new degree or cure anything or finally make a perfect meringue.

I’m just glad you didn’t die this year. Really: nice job with that.

Thanks for not jumping off a bridge in spite of these crazy oil-spill, immigrant-hating, war-mongering, Fox-news-yelling, unemployment-up-the-wazoo days.  In spite of all that’s going on in your own life that might have made it tempting.

And Z., my baby, my brilliant bubbly little shining birthday star. Thank you for coming into this world and being here with me.  Happy birthday.

Let’s have some silly cupcakes and give the whole thing another whirl.

(The fabulous Abby Dodge’s Emergency Blender Cupcakes, with Italian Buttercream Frosting, with candy-coated sunflower seeds and snipped licorice, peach gummy rings, and fruit leather.)

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Massive Cookies & Extreme Library Gratitude 4

Posted on June 30, 2010 by crankycheryl

I don’t know if our librarians could possibly know how much the summer reading program saves our sanity.

How positively alluring and magnetic we find that weekly day at the library, amidst the chaos of the disrupted schedule, the dinners with friends that stretch on into the night while mommies sip wine and can’t bear to call children in before sunset, the watergun fights and overtired, mosquito-bitten warriors on endless quests.

Library day.  So we gather whatever books we can find to return, bring in the boys’ reading lists from the past week and we toodle down the hill.  They perch on chairs and gesticulate wildly while they describe the horrible things their favorite characters have done on that week’s pages.

While there this week, E. excitedly found a past favorite, “Wild Boars Cook.” Oh, the boars (Horace, Morris, Boris & Doris) are horrible creatures, beautifully drawn and full of badness.  While in this sequel book they are neither bathing in toilets nor breaking toys nor farting, they are in the kitchen making a “massive pudding,” with ingredients I’ll leave you to discover.  Plus the book ends with a recipe for a massive cookie, and we made our version of it.

Massive Cookie
Adapted from “Wild Boars Cook”
Makes 1 cookie, about 12 servings

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together until very well blended in a medium bowl:

  • 1/2 stick (4 T.) butter
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Sift over the top of the butter mixture:

  • 1/2 c. white flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda

Stir thoroughly.  Then mix in:

  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Grease a cookie sheet, then form dough into shape of a large cookie.

Bake for 15 minutes, then have one of your little boarlets carefully sprinkle over the top while you stand there nervously with potholders between your child and the pan.  Or maybe just do it yourself:

  • 1/2 c. m&m type candies
  • 1/2 c. gum drops or jelly beans

Bake for 15 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Cool, cut into wedges or whatever shape you like.

Have any great kids books with recipes you love?  I’d love to hear about them since, ahhhhh, our next library day is coming soon.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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